Tempest Oyster Bar

4.8
1102 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
The freshest seafood prepared simply, highlighting the flavor, texture and variety of all the good things that come from our rivers, lakes and oceans.

Happy Hour available in our Boat Room, Bar Room, and Front Patio from 4-7 Monday-Friday by reservation only. To make reservations for Happy Hour please select "Bar" for Bar and Boat Room tables, or "Counter" for seats directly at the Bar.

Dinner service featuring our full menu offered daily from 5-10PM.

Please email tempestmadison@gmail.com for large party requests.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 1102 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a fun evening! Great environment and fabulous service and food.

h
viphobes
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful food and service

J
vipJohnwber1
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Good food, excellent oysters. Service was top notch

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old school steakhouse. Quality food and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful everything! Oysters wow! Cocktails and drinks for happy hour were very nice!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything from the moment we walked in was amazing. Visiting our freshman daughter at Madison. We sat in the “bar” room at a table. The food starting with appetizers was unbelievable. The service was outstanding. Eric was our waiter. Will come here every time I am in Madison. Hands down.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've never been to a Michelin starred restaurant. That said, I nominate Tempest to have a Michelin star. I enjoyed my visit to Tempest more than my visit to Mama's Fish House on Maui.

KC
KimC
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great dinner at Tempest! Sat in the bar area for happy hour and the ambiance was great! Oysters and the smokestack appetizer - delicious. My husband had the double cut pork chop and it was SO good and flavorful. I had the shrimp, scallops, and grits and while less flavorful it was cooked perfectly. Will definitely be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and AMAZING service. Nicole was fabulous and made us feel so welcome.

L
vipLatenight
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful oysters

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun time here at tempest! Really enjoyed the happy hour:) will definitely come again. The waitress was very sweet and patient, definitely felt welcomed. We also had my 2 year old nephew with and felt he was very welcomed as well, he loved the bread and butter! Very clean, fun and delicious happy hour snacks! Wine was also great!

C
vipwilliamC
San Francisco
98 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent waitress in the bar!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent, oysters in particular were fresh and prime. Was able to try three wines to find the best pairing for our food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best oysters in all of Madison! Always a great experience, best staff, great ambiance and BETTER FOOD!

CN
vipCplsNghtDt
Minneapolis
12 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Sat at the bar. Bartenders very knowledgeable on food and delicious drinks. Very romantic.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempest is great! It’s still a pricy happy hour. I wish we could afford it more often. But it’s a very nice place. The service and quality are both amazing. It’s a little too acoustic for my taste in noise level, but it’s still a great place to visit on occasion!

IM
IngridM
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the variety of oysters they had to offer. Happy hour from 4-7 with food/drink specials.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are temporarily living an hour outside of Madison and made a trip in on a Thursday night for our anniversary. It was our first time to Tempest. Needless to say we are big fans. Great experience overall and the value was an extra bonus. There’s a $7 appetizer for happy hour that’s off the charts. Smoked fish/trout/salmon mixture on crackers. It’s on the main menu app list for $19. You only need 1 order for two people. This is a higher end menu at reasonable prices. With that said I stuck to the $20 fried chicken plate and it was amazing. My wife had the Swordfish and is still talking about it 24 hours later. Call me an idiot but I had to try the a la crate hashbrowns for $6. Think Smokey’s hash browns but more gourmet. We benefited a bit from happy hour prices for our first round and the app. With that said before tip was $104. 2 craft cocktails 1 beer 1 wine, app, additional side and gourmet main courses. This place is the real deal. Thanks to Eric the host for going the extra mile. Bring an extra $10 for the last menu item - “buy the kitchen a 6 pack” - made me giggle.

SE
vipSueEllen
Pittsburgh
9 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful restaurant that respects social distancing. Had a great meal and superb service!

M
Marge246
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Refreshingly good seafood in the midwest. Creative menu. Wine list included a rose from Ile de Porquerolles in France, a tiny vineyard that we had no idea was available in the U.S. ! Star dishes included Alaskan King Crab, shrimp + grits, pear upside down cake. Not so great Oysters Rockefeller (overly funky.) Solid service in a time when most restaurants are hammered by labor shortages.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The smoke stack is an amazing deal during happy hour.

CP
CindyP
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonder surprise this place was! The service was amazing. I had the Boncatini which was incredible and my partner had fresh oysters and the yellowfin tuna. It was seriously the first time I have ever seen him totally clean his plate! We sat outside and it was absolutely perfect. Our Lyft driver told us it was the best place in town and he was right. We will definitely be back!

BM
BigMoesDad
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A magnificent place! Great vibe and awesome food.

TY
TerriY
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious seafood and a wonderful happy hour that allows you to try many different things at a lower price than usual which is from 4-7p.m. Great service and ambience too. Will definitely be back.

GG
GregG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best spots for Happy Hour as well as dinner in Madison! We've been dining at Tempest for nearly a decade, and I can't recall one bad experience or even any small issues. The staff has always been friendly, attentive and timely. The quality of the food is outstanding, and I've heard they focus on seafood that is more sustainable and have gotten rid of a couple menu items over the years when a particular fish might be overfished. Their oysters are some of the freshest around and they always have a great selection of around 6-10 types, both east and west coast. All of the other seafood apps and entrees we've had here have been delicious, it's a great place for king crab and lobster, and they cook a perfect steak every time (their sister restaurant is Tornado Steakhouse, so it makes sense). No matter where we sit to dine, be it in the dining room, bar area tables, boat area tables, patio and even at the bar, it's always been a comfortable experience. And when we dined here yesterday, we noticed they did some upgrades on the front patio which made it feel much cozier than usual (mainly all the planters they added to the railing). If you haven't been to Tempest, go! And if you have, try something new!

HO
vipHO3B
St. Louis
9 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic Happy Hour with innovative starters and house cocktails. Entrees were more standard but excellent prep and plating. We were impressed with warm service and knowledgeable waitstaff.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempest always provides the best Oysters in the area. I think they add a little salt water or something, but it not only enhances their taste, but opens up your taste buds on dinner and drinks.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great

BL
BrendaL
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The food was good, service was very slow, waited 30 minutes to get the wine we ordered.

J
Jimmer
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great dinner with my daughter. I got the steak and she got crab legs. Everything was done perfect. Little snag with the crab legs, but the restaurant made everything perfect. The waitress was great and brought my daughter chalk and different colored pens to occupy her time.

DC
DaCoda
Milwaukee
8 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Eric is a great host.
Service is enjoyable and Mave did an excellent job. Food is consistently good. Always a joy.

DT
DanT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited Tempest for the first time to celebrate a special birthday. We sat outside which had a cool vibe as did the interior. The service couldn't have been better. The food was uniquely prepared and throughly enjoyed. It was on the more expensive side, as would be expected for this type of restaurant/experience. We will return for another special dinner in the future.

SC
SamC
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service & food were excellent! Bartender made us a drink that wasn’t on the menu. Waitress was knowledgeable, fun, and made great recommendations.

DO
DinaO
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Always a good overall experience for us - love the seafood!

KF
KathyF
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Celebrating my aunts Bday and they even gave her a complimentary dessert - Key Lime Pie- with a candle.

JB
JimB
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place. Great food and excellent, happy staff.

T
vipTommy
Milwaukee
26 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service, food and atmosphere. The oysters were especially good. It was a little noisy but that didn’t stop us from having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great Food as always on Happy Hour menu! Only suggestion is to have waitstaff let people who may not closely read the wine menu during happy hour to perhaps mention which wines are at happy hour price. My friend and I incorrectly assumed all wine was happy hour priced only to find out upon receipt of the bill only “house”; whatever that was! We will know next time but would have been nice IV the waitress had clarified that for us!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food3service4ambience5

Came for incredible music, conversation was too loud during the performance. The restaurant has other rooms for dining and talking, such a beautiful place! Would be great to have one item options…

R
Rosenud
Yosemite
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

I ordered the tuna. I had it prepared as recommended, seared. I love tuna and have frequently. Tuna should not be cold in the middle. When we first enter we were asked to sit in an empty room. We asked to be moved. In general just overall mediocore food and overall poor value.

FAQs

Tempest Oyster Bar offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (608) 258-1443.

Tempest Oyster Bar is rated 4.8 stars by 1102 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.